Message from Above

I was in Church the other weekend attending a mass. As I'm not a religious person, my attention was beginning to wander. Some birds had taken up residence in the roof, so I was watching them for a while, which struck me as mildly odd. Then the choir started up to lead the congregation in … Read more

Big Switch 5: Unplugged

So now I had all the software installed and working correctly I could catch up with work, and just get used to using Linux on a day to day basis. I also had the security of a fully functional Windows installation to fall back on, should everything go wrong, or should I have forgotten to copy something across.

But up until now, I'd only been using a Wired connection. The built-in wireless on my Thinkpad R51e didn't work with Ubuntu, and a few attempts to fix it were not rewarded with success. I decided to wait until I had a weekend free to sort it all out. In the interim, if I needed wireless, I had a Buffalo Airport PCMCIA card which worked perfectly when I plugged it in.

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Big Switch 4: Softly Softly

Now we've got the box booting correctly its time to install some useful pieces of software, and fix a couple of things that don't work quite right out of the box. Your mileage may vary with this section, as some of the software choices are personal.

OK first golden rule of any Linux install, update all the existing software. As Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian (uh, that's enough …), then we use:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

… and go away and get a coffee, 'cos on a 47 kbyte connection this takes a while. Actually make that a coffee, a visit to the gym and lunch.

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Big Switch 3: Tweaking and Troubleshooting

OK, so we did the research and installed the chosen distribution in the last part. Now we're going to fix some of the problems.

As I mentioned before, this Thinkpad R51e doesn't play nice with Linux. I tried several distributions on it, and none of them worked perfectly out of the box, leading me to believe that Lenovo had slipped some non-standard hardware in there.

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Big Switch 2: Installation Day

Having chosen the distribution and done some research on the feasibility of the move (see Part 1.), it was time to make some space for the installation.

My hard disk was originally set up with the partitions as follows.

  • hda1 – Windows Partition – 20Gb
  • hda2 – IBM restore partition – 4Gb
  • hda3 -Extended partition, containing 36Gb
    • hda4 – my data partition. 36 Gb.

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